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Law & Order 4 Kids
Let's take the Law & Order series and replicate characters and plotlines. But let's tone down the rough aspects of the good guys, and let's take a special preference to the rare gimmicky stories, ignoring the mass of straight police procedurals that made the show famous in the first place. What we more or less arrive with, after these adjustments, is Law & Order: UK.

D.S. Ronnie Brooks is clearly modeled after Det. Lennie Briscoe. They've had numerous ex-wives and are alcoholics. But somewhere d0wn the line, someone decided to strip Briscoe's character of his acerbic side. Briscoe has a kind of cuddly grandpa appeal, but at the same time he has a highly caustic personality. This is what makes his character interesting. When you strip his character of that side, you're just left with a cuddly grandpa. Brooks talks about his ex-wives from time to time, but it's never very believable that such a kindly old man would ever be engaged in a divorce battle.

Which brings us to D.S. Devlin. I would disucss his character, but there really is no character of D.S. Devlin ... he has no characterization; he is completely flat. He is just a handsome young guy who occasionally offers insight. In watching him, he's not based on Detectives Green, Curtis, Lupo ... I don't think that the writers really gave any thought toward their portrayal of him.

Although James Steel (from the name you can tell he's based on Michael Cutter) is my favorite part of this show, he also is kind of a Jack Mc Coy Lite. We rarely see him engage in the same kind of back-room dealing as Ben Stone, Jack Mc Coy, or Cutter. The "Order" portion of the show should be ethically challenging ... are the DA's being fair? Are the deals they strike strictly legal? These questions are mostly absent from the UK version, which instead presents a more or less straight-forward courtroom procedural. There has been no point where I wondered whether Mr. Steel is a completely moral character. And although Alesha is beautiful and intelligent, she is more of a Southerlyn rather than a Kincaid, Ross, or Carmichael.

The show has a focus on gimmicky episoes, such as the episode where Castle's buddy is a criminal, or where Brooks's buddy is a bad guy ... tone it down guys! Viewers aren't complete morons after all.
You seem to have missed the point somewhat; the episodes are based on scripts from the original series adapted for a British culture. It no more focuses on gimmicks than the original series does. By the way, are the characters based on the original cast or not? Because you seem to be claiming they are then complaining about the ways they aren't...

You might want to consider what it has in common with British legal dramas, rather than the original Law and Order series by the way, since it's essentially one with L&O's formula.
comment #6761 Bisected8 11th Mar 11
Thanks for your insight. I think there is a higher density of "gimmick" episodes for the U.K. series than the U.S. series.

My point about the cast is that they copied Briscoe inconsistently. I am all for charting their own way plot-, character-, story-wise, but when you try to replicate such an iconic character, you'd better not water him or her down. In contrast, I really love James Steel and Alesha Phillips, because they are original characters. As far as I can tell, James Steel isn't based on Ben Stone, Jack Mc Coy, or Michael Cutter ... well, actually, I think he is based on Michael Cutter, judging by the name, but mostly James is his own character. Alesha is also a an enjoyable character; she doesn't remind me of any of the Mothership series' junior AD As. (On a side-bar, I think that the casting supervisor for Law & Order has a fetish for black-haired white women, seeing as all but one of the AD As fit that description.)
comment #7274 depaderico 15th Apr 11 (edited by: depaderico)
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